Latest data shows mountain to climb for small businesses struggling to recover from pandemic - vast new public debt and catastrophic trade figuresArticle: May 25, 2021
"The record breaking figures public debt figures published today are a warning of potential problems ahead," commented Cllr Robin Ashby, who leads on business issues for the Liberal Democrats on Newcastle City Council. "But they mustn't be used by the Government as an excuse to cut short essential support while the economy reopens.
"Small businesses are concerned about the new Indian variant's potential threat to the final steps of re-opening. This must be taken into account in the next stage of the recovery.
"The Government must extend the furlough scheme at least until the end of the year, and unroll an ambitious revenue compensation scheme for small businesses that are still struggling.
"We now know the stark reality of the impact of the past year but the pandemic remains a threat to small businesses across the country and the Government's support must continue.
"Yesterday the CBI published its 6-point plan to transform the UK economy as industry starts to recover from lockdowns and Covid-related measures.
Loss of sovereignty for individual citizens, another step towards the break-up of the UK, new complexity endangers exports and inward investment - first local reaction to leaving EUArticle: Jan 2, 2021
In a debate on the leaving legislation in the House of Lords, John Lord Shipley, former Leader of Newcastle City Council, said : "We have heard a lot about sovereignty. The Government have prioritised sovereignty over the benefits of frictionless trade but by "sovereignty" they have meant the sovereignty of the UK Government, not that of the nations of the UK or of individuals, and there are consequences of that approach.
Article: Nov 4, 2019
Following a Labour Shadow Cabinet member's appearance on Sky's Sophie Ridge show, Wendy Taylor, Liberal Democrats parliamentary candidate for Newcastle East said:
"The fact Rebecca Long-Bailey refused to say where Labour would stand in a people's vote on Sunday only goes to show the Labour leadership are not fit for office.
Article: Nov 2, 2019
Newcastle was the first city to declare at the 2016 Referendum - and the first to declare for Remain. Liberal Democrats councillors and candidates at all levels - including Parliamentary - support that decision and pledge to keep campaigning for it.
Article: Oct 30, 2019
A study from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research has found that Boris Johnson's Brexit deal will leave the UK £70bn worse off than if it had remained in the EU. Responding to the news Cllr Robin Ashby, Liberal Democrats Shadow on Newcastle City Council for business matters said:
Article: Oct 24, 2019
Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson has written to Jeremy Corbyn calling on him to back the Liberal Democrat amendment to the Queen's Speech today calling for a People's Vote, if it is selected by the Speaker. The full text of the letter is below:
Liberal Democrats have led the campaign for a People's Vote over the last three and a half years, working cross-party in order to give people the final say over the Brexit deal. We continue to believe that the best deal we have is as members of the European Union, and Liberal Democrats will always argue for remaining in the EU.
We now find ourselves with a Prime Minister with no majority, a Brexit plan that he cannot get through Parliament and a Downing Street straining at the leash for a General Election. This situation is incredibly fluid, and the Prime Minister has already proved he is willing to do anything and everything in order to get the outcome that he wants. I believe we cannot afford to wait any longer if we are going to get a People's Vote in this Parliament.
There is an amendment down in my name, and the names of all Liberal Democrat MPs, to the Queen's speech today that seeks to require the Government to take the latest Withdrawal Act back to the British public. I would urge you to support that amendment so that we can try and deliver the People's Vote that we need. I would also have been open to supporting an alternative amendment that was more agreeable to you, perhaps along the lines of the 'Kyle/Wilson' amendment that has previously attracted cross-party support, if one had been tabled.
This week may present our last meaningful chance to get a People's Vote in this Parliament, and I would ask that you support the calls of the hundreds of thousands of people who marched this weekend to demand a final say and back a People's Vote in Parliament today.
I am happy to discuss this further with you.
Jo Swinson MP
Leader of the Liberal Democrats
Article: Oct 15, 2019
One in three car firms are cutting jobs, according to latest reports. Newcastle Liberal Democrats business lead Cllr Robin Ashby commented :
"It is time Boris Johnson woke up to the fact that the manufacturing sector, and the automotive industries in particular, are suffering badly from Brexit-related uncertainty. Jobs are being lost, investment is down sharply, and confidence is low. In the region this affects not just Nissan but the whole supply chain of nearly 30,000 people dependant on it and other manufacturers. We are the only region with a positive balance of trade in manfactures - what's bad for Britain is worse for the North East.
"Brexit will be disastrous for British business, but the Conservative Government know this. They simply don't care. We know Boris Johnson's disregard for business, but we must be clear that this will mean people right across the country losing their livelihoods. Liberal Democrats demand better.
"The only route out of this mess is to stop Brexit. The best deal possible for our car makers and others is the one we already have as members of the European Union and the one Liberal Democrats will continue to fight for."
Article: Sep 9, 2019
This week the UK has been saved by the Rebel Alliance - isn't that a wonderful name! Actually politics does seem a bit like Star Wars at the moment, Cllr Dr Wendy Taylor, LIberal Democrats parliamentary candidate for Newcatle East, told a public meeting at the Monument in Newcastle this wekend. She went on :
People often say that politicians should work together for the good of the country and that's exactly what has happened this week. I've been inspired to see Liberal Democrats, Labour, Green, Plaid Cymru, SNP, independents and moderate Conservative MPs and peers coming together to prevent one of worst abuses of power this country has ever seen.
Boris Johnson seems determined to force the UK to crash out of the EU. He still seems to believe that the EU will back down at the last minute, but we all know that won't happen. And he doesn't have a plan B. To achieve his aim he decided to shut down the democratically elected Parliament for 5 weeks at a time when the UK is trying to deal with a vital issue that could affect all of us for generations. It was an utterly disgraceful manoeuvre and I'm disappointed it hasn't been found to be illegal. Now he's trying to force a GE on Oct 15th. But the rebel alliance has upset his plans with the bill that was passed yesterday to prevent a No Deal Brexit and by refusing to have a GE before an extension has been agree with the EU. Parliament has taken back control from a dysfunctional, extremist, minority Government with no mandate for what they are trying to do. To those who tell us this is undemocratic and ignores the will of the people, I'd point out that we would already have left the EU if members of the current Government hadn't decided to vote against Teresa May's deal. I'm delighted we haven't left the EU, but it's actually their fault
This week we've also seen 21 Tory MPs decide to put their country first against the wishes of their party and in full knowledge that this could mean the end of their careers and their livelihood. I probably don't agree with them on most other issues, but I think we should all applaud their courage It was appalling that they were thrown out of the Conservative party and I bet Mr Johnson is now regretting that action.
So why should we be so pleased that a No Deal Brexit has been averted. Crashing out of Europe isn't an outcome anyone voted for and would be disastrous for the UK and especially for us in the North East
I'm a doctor and I'd like to concentrate of what crashing out of Europe would mean for health. Just a few days ago the BMA, a highly respected organisation, published a report called leaving the EU without a deal is a leap in the dark
The report says" We know current preparations for no deal are inadequate. This is exemplified by the millions of pounds wasted when the government mishandled a procurement contract for medicine supplies after Brexit, which included contracting with a shipping company with no ships. The government talks of "turbo charging" preparations to leave without a deal, supported by a major information campaign to prepare business and the public for such an event, but leaked documents and informed analysis contradict public reassurances, highlighting the risk of serious damage including, but not limited to, consumer panic, trade disruption, and financial market volatility.
The report also points out that in the 46 years that the UK has been a member of the EU, almost every aspect of life has been guided by European laws and policies. So, any analysis of the effect of leaving must, of necessity, be both partial and simplified. But the risks the BMA see are a series of losses.
• Loss of money, as the economy contracts and the prices of imported goods rise
• Loss of people, as a consequence of reduced migration of key workers from EU countries
• Loss of government capacity, as the civil service, already depleted by many years of cutbacks, is diverted to managing the consequences of Brexit
• Loss of access to European institutions, many of which fulfil roles that will need to be recreated by government, such as for approval of medicines
• Loss of the rules by which international trade takes place, and which have evolved enormously to allow for the free movement of goods and services within the EU
• Loss of societal norms, such as trust in government that could pave the way for civil disorder, especially in the face of shortages of food and medicines. And related to this is the threat, recently highlighted by the police in Northern Ireland, of increased violence there as paramilitary groups exploit community tensions encouraged by Brexit.
Among the other areas affected by Brexit that have implications for health, the most important is government finances, with consequences for areas as diverse as welfare, industrial policy, local government, social care, and the NHS. The others are trade, law and order, food and agriculture and infrastructure problems which have serious health implications, such as water and transport.
So the BMA is calling on the government to be honest and spell out the many threats a no deal Brexit poses for health.
But of course stopping us crashing out of the EU is just the first step.
I'm a Liberal Democrat and a proud European. My mother came to this country as a refugee from Nazi Germany, so I feel particularly strongly about the 74years of peace the EU has helped ensure. I'm sure she's turning in her grave over what is happening to her country. I firmly believe that Britain is stronger in Europe and will continue to everything I can to Stop Brexit. Whether it's via a general election or a People's Vote I will be campaigning all out for Remain. Lets' all work together for that aim. So let's hear you shout
Bollocks to Brexit!
Article: Sep 1, 2019
Bees are essential for pollination, yet their population is under pressure. There are fears that EU standards will be ditched if Brexit happens, and even more will disappear
Whatever it takes, work with anyone, to stop Brexit. We lead the Remain cause says Liberal Democrats Leader Jo Swinson MPArticle: Aug 19, 2019
I am determined to do whatever it takes to stop Brexit, and the Liberal Democrats will continue to lead the Remain cause, as the strongest, and most
consistent party arguing that our best future is in the European Union, says Jo Swinson MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats.
In just eleven weeks, however, our country faces an immediate crisis: crashing out of the EU without any deal. The most cavalier and catastrophic of Brexits: putting at risk hundreds of thousands of jobs, public services including our NHS, and even our national security.
Although the UK has left the EU,
The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Party is the party for Liberal Democrat values in Europe.
The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Party is the party for liberal democrat values in Europe.
Together with our liberal member parties across the European continent we are translating the principle of freedom into politics, economics and all other areas of our societies. The ALDE Party provides an increasingly vital link between citizens and the EU institutions and is continuously growing in size and significance.